Effects of Soil Solarization on Rotylenchulus reniformis in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas


  • C. M. Heald
  • A. F. Robinson


Soil solarization was evaluated for control of RotylenchuIus reniformis in the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. In field experiments, solarization significantly reduced soil nematode population densities 0-15 cm deep and increased yields of lettuce and cowpea. The length of time required for 90% mortality of nematodes in soil heated under controlled conditions in the laboratory varied from 25 hours to less than 1 hour between 41 and 47 C. Daily exposures of nematode-infested soil to lethal temperatures for sublethal time periods had a cumulative lethal effect. In water, vermiform stages required up to 10 days to recover from sublethal thermal stress. Eggs were similar to juveniles in their sensitivity to high temperatures. Lethal time-temperatures under controlled conditions were in general agreement with field results. Key words: reniform nematode, Rotylenchulus reniformis, solarization, temperature, thermal death.